Closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin murder trial will commence Monday at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, and the state is in the final stages of beefing up security in the event community unrest intensifies.
Mayhem seen in the Twin Cities for a stretch of days after George Floyd was killed will not be tolerated again, according to Gov. Tim Walz in an interview with Dave Lee on WCCO Radio Friday morning.
"It's going to be a beautiful weekend but Minnesotans know next week is going to be a tough week," said Walz. "It's going to be a week that we can prove that our justice system works and there's a place for peaceful, and vocal, and emotional expression of your First Amendment rights. But we can't allow and we won't allow what happened in May to happen again."
Walz said the "final pieces" of preparation for potential unrest are going into place. In March, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that the peak protection in the city will be approximately 2,000 National Guard soldiers and 1,100 more law enforcement personnel.
Chauvin's fate will be in the hands of a 14-member jury. If found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges, Chauvin will be the second consecutive former Minneapolis officer to be convicted of murder following the death of a citizen.
Mohamed Noor was found guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter charges after fatally shooting Justine Damond in south Minneapolis in 2017. But prior to the Noor conviction, former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty after fatally shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, the same charge that now-former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter faces after she fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright on April 11 during a traffic stop.
Calls for justice for Floyd have been ongoing the past 11 months, with massive protests and civil unrest last May leading to riots and looting along Lake Street, Uptown and other parts of the Twin Cities. Hundreds of properties were damaged and started on fire, including the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct.